Christmas Eve In The Italian Tradition
The Feast of the Seven Fishes
Serving a multi-course seafood dinner on Christmas Eve (La Vigilia) is a wonderful holiday mealtime tradition that originated in Southern Italy. Known as the Feast of the Seven Fishes, a traditional Italian Christmas Eve is a celebration of the vigil awaiting the midnight birth of the baby Jesus.
The dishes served vary from family to family. These recipes are the favorites we've adopted into our non-Italian family. Buon Natale!
These mussels make a delicious prelude to a meal of pasta and seafood. Serve with bread to soak up the richly flavored broth.
For many seafood lovers, Clams Casino is the perfect appetizer. The briny flavor of the littlenecks is complemented well by the sweetness of the red bell pepper and the smokiness of the bacon.
primo (the pasta course)
This is a favorite pasta dish made with just a few very basic ingredients. It makes a wonderful pasta course in an Italian multi-course dinner. It can also be prepared using a combination of calamari and sea scallops.
secondo (second course)
A simple stuffing of fresh breadcrumbs, garlic, butter and seasonings is the perfect way to dress up some delicious jumbo shrimp.
Fresh thyme, rosemary and dried orange peel lend delicate flavor and citrus aroma to this beautiful scallop dish.
This foolproof, Italian-style recipe for cod fillets topped with a buttery blend of fresh breadcrumbs, garlic and parsley is a perfect choice for a company meal.
contorno (side dish)
Insalata di Scungilli is a delicious appetizer to serve with an authentic Italian meal. It can and should be made ahead to allow the flavor to develop.
This is a delicious biscotti recipe, flavored with toasted pine nuts, rosemary, fresh orange zest and orange liqueur.
Limoncello adds grown-up style to these cake-like ricotta cheese drop cookies.
These delicious Italian cookies have subtle flavors of red wine, black pepper and a touch of salt and make a nice dessert course for an Italian menu served alongside fruit and cheese.